Hello from the picturesque state of Idaho! We traveled to northern Idaho after trekking east across Washington from our campsite in Kent, Washington.
Most of you know that whenever possible, we try to avoid major highways so that we slow down and see all there is to see of this great Nation of ours. Instead of taking Highway 90 east to Spokane, we took a 2-lane road, Highway 2, from Everett, Washington to Spokane, Washington. We crossed the Cascade Range through the Wenatchee National Forest…absolutely gorgeous! We meandered along the Wenatchee River and once we arrived at the town of Wenatchee we met back up with the Columbia River. However, once we caught back up with Highway 2 in Orondo we thought we were in the twilight zone! The scenery abruptly changed from lush green forest to wheat fields in a blink of an eye; we thought we had fell asleep at the wheel and we were in Kansas! Once we got over that we enjoyed the beautiful scenery dotted with farms. Another wonderful aspect of the state of Washington is that volunteers, usually civic groups, man each rest stop and they provide free coffee and some sort of snack. It isn’t required but they ask for a donation and we were very happy to oblige, especially since it was groups like the American Legion, VFW or other groups we are associated with.
We called ahead and were happy to find out that the Elks Lodge in Spokane had space available so that is where we called home for 2 nights. We always meet nice people in the Elks RV camping and this stop was no exception. We enjoyed going into the lodge and getting to know the locals. The next day we spent all afternoon and evening with my mom’s cousin, Don Foss and his wife, Ann. They are lovely people who are always extremely welcoming. Don is a former Marine so he and Dennis regaled each other with stories and visiting his “I love me” room in their basement. Don was a career Marine, like Dennis, and his most notable tour of duty was as the Marine One (helicopter) pilot for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. After a few hours visiting them at their house we then drove over to their daughter, Janet’s home and met up with her and her husband, Joe. We enjoyed catching up on our respective lives and we were amazed at the spectacular view Janet and Joe enjoy on a daily basis from their lovely home.
The next day we made the short trek to Idaho, specifically, Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint is in the northern portion of the state, north of Coeur D’ Alene. Our main reason was to visit a former LAPD officer, Lee Kirkwood, who had sculpted the original bust of Chief William H. Parker. Lee retired in 1976 but Dennis’ association with him began when he attempted to locate him to make a miniature of the original bust for an award given to the top recruit of each LAPD Academy class (sound familiar, Brandon?). Dennis was able to locate him through his son-in-law who was an active LAPD officer, Dan Welle, at that time. Dan has since retired so our reason to visit the area became two-fold, visit the Kirkwood’s and the Welle’s. We stayed two nights on Dan and Dian’s property about 26 miles outside of Sandpoint. We found an old schoolhouse near their property that had been converted to a private home. The Seneacquoteen School was established in 1910 and was a one-room schoolhouse for over 50 years. We also enjoyed a river front view with Dian and Dan one day so that they could exercise 3 of their 14 Labrador Retrievers.
We relocated to Lee and Vivian Kirkwood’s home in the town of Sandpoint after a few days. They built a lovely home after moving from Hope, Idaho a few years ago. They are on 2 ½ acres a few miles from downtown and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit with them. They showed us all around the town, we had lunch at a couple of wonderful local restaurants and did a lot of reminiscing. While we were there, Dennis discovered, through Dan Welle, that there had been new federal legislation enacted that requires all retired police officers to requalify on a yearly basis if they want to keep their concealed weapons permit. Needless to say, Dennis feels that this is necessary so Dennis, Lee, Dan and many other retired LAPD officers spent an afternoon qualifying and regaling each other with cop stories! While they were away I spent part of the afternoon perusing the local farmers market in town. Another day we attended the Bonner County Fair, it had a very small town feel to it and we are really enjoyed it. The rest of our time here was having wonderful visits with the Kirkwoods around the dinner table or out on the deck with a morning cup of coffee…thank you Lee and Vivian!!
Onto new adventures on our COWI (Idaho) trip across the Northwest, visiting with friends and family.